Firm Renamed Daugherty Lordan

Firm Renamed Daugherty Lordan
Duo: John Barber, far left, and Jeff Ranen resigned from their now defunct firm last week. (David Sprague)

With the sudden resignations of its founding partners, downtown law firm Barber Ranen LLP has ceased to exist only about a month after its founding. From the ashes, Daugherty Lordan LLP has taken its place.

The resignations of John Barber and Jeff Ranen last Monday came in the wake of the revelation of several years’ worth of email exchanges between the two in which they spoke pejoratively and offensively about colleagues and others working in their periphery. The emails — which contained a variety of sexually explicit, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ and racist castings — were made available to press as the result of an ongoing internal investigation by Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, the former law firm of Barber and Ranen.

The other founding equity partners of then-Barber Ranen asked for their resignations early last week.

“The remaining equity partners express their disappointment and disdain for the language Mr. Barber and Mr. Ranen used,” said Tim Graves, then the chief executive of Barber Ranen. “We ask for the support of our friends and colleagues while we heal and plan our path forward.”

Those equity partners — led by name partners Melissa Daugherty in Los Angeles and Joe Lordan in San Francisco — announced the formation of the new firm last Wednesday. Graves remained as CEO and the firm had retained all of its 135 attorneys, a spokesman said, and it will be governed by six partners as a management committee in the immediate future.

The New York Post first reported last weekend about the email exchanges involving Barber and Ranen, and occasionally other colleagues at downtown-based Lewis Brisbois, focusing primarily on the racist and explicit nature of the emails. The Daily Beast then picked up on largely the same angle, followed by the Forward, a Jewish publication, focusing on the anti-Semitic comments made in the emails. Mainstream publications began covering the story after the weekend.

Lewis Brisbois — which employed Barber and Ranen for decades — released a tranche of curated and redacted emails to the media during the course of an investigation, which was launched after an anonymous complaint was made following Barber’s and Ranen’s well-publicized exodus from the firm. The two left and launched their new firm with more than 130 other Lewis Brisbois defections last month.

Reached by text message, Ranen apologized on behalf of himself and Barber in a joint statement. They described the succession of events as “the most difficult” hours of their lives.

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